See Christian Bale as Frankenstein’s Monster in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s THE BRIDE

Christian Bale has never been shy about transforming his body for a role. He famously lost an unhealthy amount of weight for both The Machinist and The Fighter. He then went in the opposite direction to play the rotund Dick Cheney in Vice. Now he’s undergoing a different kind of cinematic transformation. Bale is turning himself into a legendary sci-fi monster. The first images from director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Bride show Bale and co-star Jessie Buckley as the iconic creations.

Christian Bale's Frankenstein's monster pulls back his hair in an image from The Bride.
Maggie Gyllenhaal/Warner Bros.

Gyllenhaal took to Instagram to post the first official photos (which we first heard about at Variety) for The Bride, her upcoming take on a classic Frankenstein story. The images come from camera tests for her two leads. Gyllenhaal’s version will take place in 1930s Chicago and see Buckley’s reanimated murder victim launch an entire new social movement.

The Warner Bros. production will reunite Buckley and Gyllenhaal. Buckley earned an Oscar nomination for Gyllenhaal’s previous film, 2021’s The Lost Daughter. This time the actress will star as the titular bride of Frankenstein. But these photos show the two are not exactly the same.

A blonde JEsse Buckley with a black blotch near her mouth in a photo from The Bride
Maggie Gyllenhaal/Warner Bros.

Bale’s monster has an entirely different energy in his photo. His scarred, terrifying take on the character—which feels strangely reminiscent of Jared Leto’s Joker, only with giant stitches rather than a forehead tattoo—evokes the horror of Mary Shelley’s character. Buckley’s blonde Bride looks far more human. She has a black blotch on the side of her mouth, but otherwise her wounds seem far more internal than her pieced-together counterpart.

The Bride will also feature Penélope Cruz, Annette Bening, and Peter Sarsgaard. It will arrive in theaters next year ahead of Halloween on September 26, 2025.

What will Christian Bale look like by the time the film premieres? We don’t know. We just know we can’t rule any kind of transformation out.

Originally published April 4, 2024.

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